Rallies for, against Egypt president's new powers

AP News
Posted: Nov 23, 2012 5:49 AM

CAIRO (AP) — Demonstrators for and against sweeping new powers assumed by Egypt's Islamist president are gathering in different parts of Cairo, a clear show of the deep polarization plaguing the country.

President Mohammed Morsi's decree puts himself above the judiciary and also exempts the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly writing Egypt's new constitution from judicial review. Liberal and secular members earlier walked out of the body, charging it would impose strict Islamic practices.

Other articles give Morsi power to take measures to protect the revolution. Rights groups say these are like new emergency laws.

Protests following Friday midday prayers are set to be led by prominent pro-democracy figures, like Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the U.N.'s nuclear agency.

Muslim Brotherhood backers were gathering in front of the presidential palace northern Cairo to support Morsi.